check this out:
the picture below is kinda confusing, but here's the idea:
the pink dot is about where ScislaC said he was when he saw the lights; i'm guessing he was looking southwest at about the angle the pink cone makes.
Scisla C: does the direction of the "vieing triangle" look about right? or does it need some rotation?
the red dot is one of kritausky's houses and i'm also just guessing he looked vaguely southwest -- if he comes on the board or answers ScislaC's
email we might get more info out of him and correct the angle if it's off.
the cyan dot is about where i'm guessing nepenthean lives from how he described it, and the blue triangles are the north/south view he'd have had
during the tennis game.
thus the lights need to have been in the pink and red area but not the cyan area; i put a black line along what i think is the mountain in the night
video and then put a dot about where the lights "look" like they are.
assuming that the black dot and the cyan dot are right for the moment, this explains a lot already:
nepenthean didn't see the lights because his view that way would have been blocked by the mountain; ScislaC and mr kritausky had unblocked views.
nepenthean: if i'm identifying the ridge correctly and have your house in about the right location, the mountain should look like that if you go a
mile or two so south of your house and look to the southwest, but won't look quite like that from where your house is; take a look next time you're
headed that way and let us know.
As for the ridge I also made this, which is a closer view with more of the topo lines visible:
it's still hard to see the topo lines in that so here's a link to the full-size map i got it from:
i'm not sure that the line i've drawn is totally right, but i'm pretty sure it's the right general area.
when i was putting this together i saw that the mountain has a lot of beacons on it -- they're on the map in the link and i've put pink dots over
them in the close-up look. at first i thought we had an explanation right there, because there's seven beacons and seven lights in the video, but
then i noticed the beacons aren't at the same relative heights as the lights in the video; looking from the northeast the first on the left should be
the lowest, but it's higher than the next one.
on the other hand, it could be the case that the beacon towers are different enough in height to make up for the differences in elevation and get the
right look, though -- if any of you locals want to call the park service or whoever administers those beacons we could probably get an answer on this
one real quick.
so, we've now got a rough possible location and a possible explanation for the lights; any more info / ideas?